Theses and Dissertations


Jacinda Leopard Shecoya White 0000-0001-7170-7351 Juan L. Silva 0000-0002-5624-9599

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


White, Shecoya

Committee Member

Mathews, Rahel

Committee Member

Silva, Juan L.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Raw milk sales are legal in 30 states, including Mississippi, where regulations are largely management-based and not food-safety related. The research objectives were to analyze the microbial profile of raw goat milk from Mississippi farms and assess food safety practices and perceptions of dairy goat farmers. Deficiencies and opportunities for improvement in raw goat milk safety were identified. Staphylococcus spp. was present in most (70%) milk samples but aligned with drying-off. E. coli, Enterobacteriaceae, and coliforms were observed in 4, 10, and 12 samples, respectively; no Salmonella spp. or Listeria monocytogenes were detected. The survey highlighted farmers' need for educational opportunities on safe milk handling with emphasis on handwashing. Most producers (80.8%) are willing to invest more in their farms, creating strategic opportunities for extension outreach to help with market expansion and sustainability. Overall, training accessibility could help producers nationwide by encouraging safe milk handling and best management practices.